The new Arduino IDE showing off the new board detection feature — boards are detected and listed on 'Port' menu along with the serial associated port.

The new Arduino IDE showing off the new board detection feature — boards are detected and listed on ‘Port’ menu along with the serial associated port.

After almost two years in development the new Arduino IDE, version 1.6.0, was released yesterday. The latest version of the Arduino development environment comes with a long laundry list of new features.

  • Support for multiple platforms
  • Boards are detected and listed on “Port” menu together with the serial port
  • Drivers and IDE are now signed for Windows and MacOSX
  • Improved speed of build process
  • Autosave when compiling/uploading sketch
  • A lot of improvements of the serial monitor
  • Find/replace over multiple tabs
  • Improved lots of Arduino API libraries (String, Serial, Print, etc.)
  • Tools & toolchains upgrades (avr-gcc, arm-gcc, avrdude, bossac, etc.)
  • Command line interface
  • IDE reports both sketch size and static RAM usage
  • Editor shows line numbers
  • Scrollable menus when many entries are listed
  • Upload via network (Yún)
  • HardwareSerial has been improved
  • USB has got some stability and performance improvements
  • SPI library now supports “transactions”
  • Better support to 3rd party hardware vendors with configuration files
  • Submenus with board configuration can now be defined
  • Fix for upload problems on Leonardo, Micro and Yún.
  • Libraries bundled with Arduino have been improved
  • A lot of minor bugs of the user interface have been fixed

But despite all the important fixes sometimes it’s the small changes that make the biggest difference.

“The major pieces, like multi-platform support, the re-structured pre-proprocessor, and the serial improvements are great. But I think the little things will make more of a difference every day; the Add Library addition in the ‘Sketch’ menu, the option for line numbering, some improvements in the error messages…” — Tom Igoe, Arduino Team

For my own part — as someone that often times works with more than one Arduino attached to his computer at a time — the thing I’m most excited about? The fact that the new IDE will auto-detect the type of board connected and list it next to the associated serial port in the ‘Port’ menu.

“One thing I’m pleased with about this release is how many of the improvements came from the community. The developers’ list has felt pretty productive of late. Cristian Maglie and Federico Fissore, our lead developers, have been making an effort to be more responsive to the developers’ list feedback and the patches that have been submitted.” — Tom Igoe, Arduino Team

The new release is available to download right now, and remember to report any issues either on Github, or on the Arduino forums, because the team is already working on 1.6.1.